Christian Standhardinger in action for Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club against Thailand’s Mono Vampire on Friday. | Philstar.com/Denison Rey. A. Dalupang

Standhardinger, ABL coach downplay Fil-German's big 40-18 game
Denison Rey A. Dalupang (philstar.com) - December 12, 2017 - 10:30am

MANILA, Philippines — Both Christian Standhardinger and his Hong Kong Eastern head coach Edu Torres didn’t want to talk about the former’s mammoth ASEAN Basketball League performance against Mono Vampire last week.

It’s not that it wasn’t commendable. Heck, Standhardinger’s numbers were outstanding.

It’s just that they’d rather look at the team, their chances, and of course, what else they could improve on.

“I don’t want to talk about that,” Torres said of the hype surrounding the Filipino-German. “I just want to talk about my guys, this game and the next games.”

“Actually, [it] was not a good day,” Standhardinger, the PBA’s 2017 top draft pick, noted. “I had three easy layups which I missed… I messed up (my teammates) assists. But victory is the most important thing so I’m happy that everything worked out.”

Yet to play his first game in the Philippine’s pro league, Standhardinger has been making a case why he deserves the overall pick — and San Miguel Beer’s bid to make a space for him in their already souped-up lineup.

During Tanduay-Alab Pilipinas’ season-opener at the MOA Arena, the 28-year-old big man delivered in the clutch, putting the game beyond Ray Parks Jr. and the Pinoys’ reach.

Even before those games, the 6-foot-8 versatile center has bailed the Philippines in many international games — the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon, the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur and even in the Jones Cup in Taiwan.

In last Friday’s game against Thailand’s Mono, the visiting Standhardinger dealt a long burn for the Vampire squad, who were then leaning on fellow Filipinos Paul Zamar and Jason Brickman. Just as the home team were trying to get out of a 19-hole, the workhorse’s finger prints were simply everywhere.

And then on Sunday, Standhardinger again powered his team, this time to its fourth straight  win and against the Singapore Slingers. He had 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.

“The way he faces every game, he’s a brave guy. That’s impressive to me,” Torres said of his ward.

“I think we have a great team. We have so much to learn, maybe to not keep our zones too open, but we got so much to learn every day,” Standhardinger said.

“I’m so happy that we’re competing at this high level. I have a lot to learn. I’ll never be done with improving and learning and I’m very excited of the journey and to hopefully get better every single day,” he added.

Standhardinger will have to wrap his stint with HK Eastern before donning the Beermen uniform. His contract frees him just in time for the PBA’s Governors’ Cup, where teams will be allowed to further bolster their roster with foreign reinforcements.

Excited on how he translates in the Philippine brand of gritty, dramatic basketball? We share the same feeling.

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